Una Watermills

Flour watermills are one of the Una’s most charming sights.

By the first half of the 20th century there were several watermills on and near Una river, most of them on the right river bank.

Mlin potočak (a stream mill) as it is called by the local population, uses the power created by numerous streams or mill races diverted from the Una’s main flow. Most of them are equipped by vertical waterwheels.

How a watermill operates

Operating a lever (called ustva or potegača) opens or closes outer sluice gates which direct the water through the mill race towards the blades or wheel of the mill turbine. The blades or the wheel consists of parts called vreteno, senj and paprica, which are connected to a vertical axle which transfers mechanical energy of the water to the circulating upper runner mill stone, whereas the lower bed stone is fixed.

Grist is placed into a triangular wooden basket which is positioned directly above the mill stone. On one side of the basket there is a nozzle which allows for a constant and regular inflow of the grain into an opening in the middle of the runner stone, which than leads the grain between the two stones and grinds them to flour. To regulate the speed and amount of the grain inflow, on the millstone there is a wooden spoon called čekalo which vigorously springs along the millstone. A grade of flour can be adjusted according to needs and type of grain. Once the grain is ground to flour it is sieved and collected into a wooden box (mušnica) which is often placed in the front part of the mill. Miller than uses a wooden scoop to load flour into sacks (džak).

Grinding mechanism(s) of a mill are usually placed within a wooden house which is often built upon wooden stilts (just as sojenica houses) above the water or use stone walls which also direct the water flow.

 (provjeri ovaj dio teksta, sintaksicka nedosljednost – malo uredi recenicu)The traditional way of flour production used in these old mills adds to incomparable taste of bakery products and is even healthier than today’s industrially made food; even more so when you use grain from one of the old local grain varieties...